Nancy Saint Pierre, your fifteen minutes are up

And to think I shed a tear over all of this

It was Mom’s fault: Julie

‘This isn’t about settling a score’. Townships teen who vanished for 3 years tells her side of story in new book

SIDHARTHA BANERJEE and ANN CARROLL

The Gazette

Friday, October 29, 2004

A bitter Julie Bureau lashed out at her mother yesterday as the principal person who drove her into exile in Beauceville for three years.

The trouble between mother and daughter will be one of the issues Bureau will address as the 17-year-old prepares to release her book, La Vraie Julie Bureau (The Real Julie Bureau), on Sunday. Bureau called her mother a controlling woman and a source of psychological harassment in her life.

Reached yesterday at her home in Milan, Bureau’s mother, Francine Poulin, said she is not happy with what’s she’s read of the book thus far.

But Poulin said she forgives her daughter for painting her parents – Poulin especially – in a bad light.

“We see that she is very unhappy,” Poulin said. “She doesn’t realize what she is doing.”

Poulin hopes eventually for a reconciliation.

“When I last talked to Julie in mid-August, she said we wanted to control her life,” Poulin said.

“I told her, ‘You are so negative, and can only see the dark side of things. In a few years, when you see the good in life, we will talk again.’ ”

Bureau was 14 when she disappeared in September 2001 from a Coaticook restaurant. She ended up in Beauceville, about 60 kilometres from the family home in Milan, where she moved in with Jean-Paul Bernard, 38.

Bureau said she feels rejected by her parents and nothing has changed since she left. Bureau said that in interviews, her mother would profess how much she loves her but then would take a much more harsh tone when they met.

“I don’t understand … if you love your children, you don’t just tell the cameras,” Bureau said, her eyes welling up with tears.

“This isn’t about settling a score,” Bureau insisted during a press conference yesterday, sitting side by side with Bernard, the man who took her in for three years.

“I had to free myself. It feels good. It’s not a battle. I’m happy that (the book) was my therapy.”

The book gives few details of what Bureau was doing in the three years she was living in Beauceviile under the name Nancy Saint Pierre. It does say she was working and living a normal existence until her discovery last July.

Bureau and Bernard, who says he knew nothing about Bureau’s real identity until this summer, are not romantically involved, both have said.

Bernard, the man dubbed the Good Samaritan in this case, will have a book published on his own life early next year by the same author, Andre Mathieu.

Despite the fact she was wary of the media attention given to her case, Bureau says she felt the book was necessary to help turn a page in her life.

While she said money was furthest from her mind when she agreed to the deal, she hasn’t ruled out making a movie about her life, either.

“It is my book. I’m the one who decided to do it. No one forced me to write this.”

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